Moreton Bay islands fire ban for holidays

Fire bans have been placed on all islands in Moreton Bay due to bushfire concerns as the September school holidays loom.

Southeast Queensland is bracing itself for one of its worst bushfire seasons, with gusty winds and dry conditions increasing the risk on Thursday to severe.

A total fire ban for the southern part of the state is in place until midnight but Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have since issued another one for the islands.

It will be in force from midnight on Friday until October 2.

Permits previously issued for visitors to North Stradbroke, South Stradbroke, Moreton, Russell, MacLeay, Lamb, Karragarra, Peel and Coochiemudlo islands have been cancelled.

Rural Fire Service rural operations director James Haig said weather conditions were making worse the threat of a bushfire starting and spreading.

Queensland state school holidays start on September 16.

“I understand the local fire ban may inconvenience families visiting these popular spots during the school holiday period but this is not a decision we have taken lightly,” he said on Thursday.

“All holidaymakers should plan ahead for this and make sure they have appropriate cooking alternatives in place to comply with the ban.”

Visitors to the islands are still able to use properly constructed barbecues but they must be monitored at all times.

Firefighting crews, co-ordination centres and aircraft are on stand-by across the southeast on Thursday.

QFES Brisbane manager Wayne Waltisbuhl told ABC radio a lack of rain since Cyclone Debbie had contributed to the increased danger.

“The dryness backed up with this really strong, dry, west-southwesterly wind today will cause us some real issues if we do get ignition,” he said.

“A fire starting today with those conditions is going to grow rapidly and be very difficult for us to contain.”

A fire is burning near Barrett and Quinlan streets at Bracken Ridge, in Brisbane’s north.

There is another grassfire near Steve Irwin Way at the Glass House Mountains.

The fires do not pose a threat to property but nearby motorists are being urged to drive with caution and close windows so they are not affected by the smoke.

© AAP 2017

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